“When we are praising God, it is impossible to wallow in our earthly troubles. In praise, we are reminded that our God reigns on high.”
If you’ve ever been treated to a live rendition of “The Hallelujah Chorus,” you know it is a tremendously moving experience. The music and words resound with praise to God: “And he shall reign forever and ever. King of kings. And Lord of lords. Forever and ever. Hallelujah! Hallelujah!”
Written by George Frideric Handel in 1741, “The Hallelujah Chorus” is a highlight of his 260-page oratorio, The Messiah. Performed annually by choirs across the globe at Christmas and Easter, it is traditional for the audience to rise to their feet when “The Hallelujah Chorus” begins. And for good reason! It is time to pay homage to the King of kings!
The word Hallelujah is a call for all of us to praise the Lord! It comes from two words in the Hebrew: “Hallelu” a call to praise and “Yah” the shortened version of “Yahweh,” the Hebrew word for God. This phrase is used 24 times in the book of Psalms, and 20 of those times are found in book 5. Psalms 113–118 are referred to as The Hallel Psalms (“The Praise”).
Psalm 150 is often called The Great Hallelujah. The psalmist urges us to “Praise the Lord. Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens.” Verse 6 concludes, “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.” This wonderful song of praise celebrates our God and our King: “Hallelu Yah!”
When we are praising God, it is impossible to wallow in our earthly troubles. In praise, we are reminded that our God reigns on high. Our all- powerful, all-knowing God is seated on the throne. Praise celebrates how God has redeemed and delivered us. Praise is our natural response to all that God is and all He has done for us.
In the last book of the Bible, we find an even greater Hallelujah. In Revelation 19, John writes: “After this I heard what sounded like the roar of a great multitude in heaven shouting: ‘Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God.’” This heavenly Hallelujah will be one for the books. With a loud, boisterous “roar”, members from every tribe and nation will rival any earthly performance. With one voice, God will be universally recognized as King of kings, and Lord of lords. Forever and ever. Amen. Hallelujah!